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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  January 27, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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they've been coming one after another this winter and this bon was even bigger than expected. most fofters had predicted a foot of snow but places like new york city and philadelphia woke up to a whole lot more than that. it made for dangerous roads. the storm is blamed for at least six deaths, and canceled flights more than 900 across the region disrupting air travel nationwide and schools were closed in a lot of districts, including the nation's largest here in new york. elaine quijano is in central park tonight, and elaine, this winter say real record breaker. >> reporter: it really is, katie. this is the sixth snowiest winter, in fact, in new york city's history, and it's only january, and for residents all along the east coast, this truly is their winter of discontent. in the weather-beaten northeast, residents are fed up. >> i'm truly tired of the snow. it's ridiculous. >> reporter: this latest round of the snow hit especially hard. near boston, two men narrowly
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escaped serious injury after heavy snow caused the roof of this garage to collapse on to their car. the storm knocked out power to nearly half a million people. nearly 350,000 in the washington, d.c. area. >> the house is getting so cold it's practically like outside. >> reporter: and in connecticut, this stretch of interstate 95 looked like a parking lot. further south, 30-minute commutes turned into eight-hour ordeals. >> i tried to get off at a couple of exits, and cars were spun out all over the ramp. >> reporter: the eastern storms have been relentless, eight since december in in places. boston normally sees about 42 inches of snow each year. already, some 60 have fallen. philadelphia has already more than doubled its yearly average, and so has new york. >> we have now had the snowiest january in new york city's history. >> reporter: experts say it's all hurting the economy. >> just shut commerce down. people aren't able to move. they're not able to shop. >> reporter: restaurant traffic is down 3% compared to last
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year. mall traffic is down 5%. and one key barometer-- bottled water consumption has dropped 5% in the southeast. >> when you start to see bottled water fall, it's a very good indicator that there's just not as many people out there making those purchases in general. >> reporter: in the south, where this prolonged winter weather is rare, the snow and ice have forced some companies to temporarily shut down, leaving workers without paychecks and causing a short-term spike in unemployment claims. as for the forecast, there is little relief in sight. meteorologists say another major winter storm is brewing and could hit the northeast by this time next week. katie. >> couric: elaine quijano, elaine, thank you very much. turning now to the middle east where a wave of angry protests is spreading from country to country, threatening long-standing regime stability in the region and creating serious diplomatic problems for the united states. it started in tunisia with the
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overthrow two weeks ago of the president. today, yemen. tens of thousands demanded president ahmed saleh step down. he's ruled for 32 years and is a key ally of the u.s. in the war on terror. in egypt another important ally, protesters called for the removal of president mubarak. elizabeth palmer is in cairo tonight, and we caution you, this video is graphic. >> reporter: police brutality at its most explicit. a protester in the sinai desert shot dead as he ran. the unrest in egypt has spread like wildfire. in suez, about an hour east of the capital, furious mobz burned down government buildings. just like the huge street protests that erupted in iran in 2009, egypt's uprising is a real movement that was born in a virtual world. led by young, educated activists who understand the power of social networking. >> millions of egyptians.
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>> reporter: a call for action went out on facebook which initially reached more than a million people and was amplified by a torrent of twitter messages. >> egypt was in more than one in every 200 tweets and twitters appropriate in the world. >> in all the tweets in the world. >> reporter: it was egypt's urban youth that led the protests earlier in the week, but demands for change will gain real traction only when the grass roots join in. the anger behind this uprising is about a lot of things. it's about freedom of expression corruption, and abuse. but above all, it's about unemployment and the price of food. it's skyrocketed in a country where almost half the population lives on less than $2 a day. those egyptians struggling to make ends meet are expected to take to the street tomorrow. they'll be joined by egypt's most famous opposition figure, nobel prize winner, mohammed el
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baradei, who arrived in cairo tonight and pledged to march tomorrow. so did the legions of muslim brotherhood supporters, egypt's most powerful islamist movement. organizers hope tomorrow's demonstration will be so massive the police will have no choice but to stand back and let the people be heard. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, cairo. >> couric: president obama was shown video of the egyptian protests as he answered some of the 140,000 questions submitted for a youtube interview. president mubarak has long been a partner in middle east peace efforts, but as chief white house correspondent chip reid reports, president obama did not give him a ringing endorsement. >> reporter: the president walked a fine line today, balancing his support of the rights of egypt's protesters again the long-term u.s. relationship with hosni mubarak. >> president mubarak has been very helpful on a range of tough issues in the middle east, but i've always said to him that
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making sure that they are moving forward to reform, political reform, economic reform, is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of egypt. >> reporter: the president urged both sides to avoid violence. in an hour-language interview the president took questions submitted by youtube viewers. a few topics were frivolous. >> we always try to get a date night out on valentine's day. >> reporter: but many were deadly serious this military mom wanted to know why u.s. troops are still dying in iraq and afghanistan. the president said thind is near in iraq, and the withdrawal from afghanistan will begin soon. >> starting in july of this year we're going to begin to phase down our troop levels. >> reporter: he downplayed the pain of his state of the union proposal to freeze some domestic spending for five years. >> these are not going to be across the aboard. we want to cut with a scalpel as opposed to a chainsaw. >> reporter: a live interview
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with youtube has become an annual event with the president as he seeks to connect with a younger. and you may recall robert gibbs, white house press secretary, recently announced he would be stepping down soon. today, the white house announced hi replacement, jay carney, a former white house reporter, who spent the last two years working for vice president joe biden. katie. >> couric: all right, chip reid at the white house. thank you. to politics now and the growing power of the tea party movement. congressional correspondent nancy cordes reports five republican senators today attended the first-ever meeting of the senate tea party caucus. >> thank you for sending me some help. >> reporter: creativity crusader jim demint and the freshmen senatored he helped to elect, planted their tea party flag today. the tea party caucus claimed credit today for the g.o.p.'s
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new hard-on spending. >> we will do everything we can to cut wasteful government spending. >> reporter: they even see their influence in the president's state of the union address. >> if a bill comes to my desk witheermarks inside, i will veto it. >> did that come from his sight of the party or did that come from the tea party. >> reporter: ther assertiveness has caused heartbetter than for g.o.p. leaders like when congresswoman michele bachmann insisted on delivering a separate tea party response to the state of the union. and when tea party enthusiast, sarah palin, invoked a vulgar acronym, to describe the president's speech. >> his scene was the wt"f," you know, winning the future. and i thought, okay, that acronym, spot on. there are a lot of wtf moments throughout that speech. >> reporter: but friction between the republican party and the tea party doesn't trouble supporters who say that's the whole point. >> it's my goal to see that
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republicans listen to tea party activists and others about what government should be like. >> reporter: senator marco rubio of florida is one of a couple of new senators who won big in november with tea party support but who steered clear of the meeting today, indicating they're not completely comfortable with taking on this tea party mantle, katie. >> couric: so where does this new tea party caucus go from here? it is gaining or losing steam at this point, do you think, nancy? >> reporter: katie, i think they could make a credible case that they are gaining steam, that the republican leadership is reading right out of their playbook right now and they say it doesn't matter some of their figgerheads are lightning rods when some of their supporters who are so energized. >> couric: and one more political note. in the chicago mayor's race, front-runner rahm emanuel is on the ballot to stay. the illinois supreme court ruled in his favor saying he does meet the residency requirement to run for mayor. emanuel has spent most of the
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past two years in washington serving as white house chief of staff. meanwhile, there's a lot of concern tonight in south africa and around the world about the health of former president nelson mandela. he is 92 years olz and has been in johannesburg hospital for two days now. according to one had report he suffered a collapsed lung but could be released tomorrow. family and friends visited mandela today, and children at a school next door made him get well cards. and still ahead here on the cbs evening news, a movie about nothing with a cast of unknowns has the whole world abuzz. but up next, shifts in political power lead to a new push to restrict abortion. we'll put that battle in focus.
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>> couric: it's been 38 years since roe v. wade, the decision that made abortion in america legal. this week, hundreds of thousands of abortion rights opponents marked the anniversary with a protest on the steps of the supreme court. meanwhile ocapitol hill, house republicans are pushing for new limits on abortion, a similar movement has already gained support in a lot of state capitals. tonight, we put the shifting battle over abortion in focus. >> dr. kermit gosnell is a west philadelphia doctor who was
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never trained as an o.b.-gyn, but in fact prosecutor prosecutors say he carried out illegal late-term abortion. >> couric: and did so for the last 20 years. gosnell has been charged with killing seven babies after they were born alive, and for the murder of one woman. remains from the procedures were in trash bags around his clinic. >> there were fetal remains in the same exact refrigerator that the employees had their lunch in that day. >> couric: criminal abuse like this is extremely rare, but it's not stopping both sides in the abortion debate from using the case to re-energize supporters. >> on the one hand, you have abortion rights advocates who say if you clamp down on obothers rights even further other you're going to have more doctors preying upon women because they won't have any other options out there. on the other side of the debate you have anti--abortion advocates who say, look, this is precisely why we need to limit
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abortion, to prevent people like dr. gosnell from operating. >> couric: the issue of abortion has taken a back seat in recent years but aggressive state action to limit abortion and new leadership in congress, like house speaker john boehner, have pushed abortion back into the public debate. >> a ban on taxpayer-funded abortion is the will of the people, and ought to be the will of the land. it's one of our highest legislative priorities and as such, i've directed that it receive the designation of hr-3. >> reporter: republicans are now back in the power, in the mouse at least, after a walk in the desert, and they have certain constituencies that they need to satisfy. one of those constituencies is the conservative right wing of the party for whom abortion is a very important issue all the time. >> now with the new congress, you're no longer playing defense as you were in the last two years. we can now play offense. >> couric: conservatives fers went on the offensive during debate over the health care reform when they tried to keep any money from expanded insurance coverage from being used to pay for abortions. opponents said existing law, in
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the form of the hyde amendment, already prohibited that, but that's not keeping abortion foes from trying again. >> when speaker jane bain and congressman smith introduced hr 3 last week, the reaction from everyone on capitol hill was this was supposed to be a jobs agenda, right? >> couric: although 40% of americans favor limits on abortion, fewer than 1% consider the issue a priority. the abortion rate in the u.s. has dropped since 1980 from nearly 30 per 1,000 women of childbaring age, to less than 20. anti-abortion activists view house resolution 3 as a chance for victory on a national stage. in a battle that's clearly escalated beyond washington, since the november elections. >> i think if you're looking at abortion as a political issue, the real action is going to be at the state level. in state after state, democratic
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governors were replaceed by republican governors. many, if not most, favoring far more restrictions on abortions. >> couric: 29 states are now led by governors or legislatures solidlyly opposed to row vwade, the decision that protected the right to abortion. >> i think you're going to see much more nrpg on the part of those who oppose abortions or favor more restrictions. >> couric: last year, 16 states enacted new restrictions on abortion. nebraska is joining other states that ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. and oklahomaments to require doctors to show a woman the ultrasouchbd her fetus prior to an abortion. >> as more and more of these states enact laws that basically prohibit women from accessing abortion care, are you seeing, in essence, that that care is not available to them, and oftentimes they have to go to another state. >> the supreme court has made very clear that it is not going to overturn roe versus wade so
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you're seeing efforts in state that push the envelope to see how far they can take it, short of restricting abortion outright. >> couric: but in congress, republican leaders say they have no plans to go further than h.r. 3, at least for now. >> a congressional aide told me that it doesn't matter if the senate passes what the house passes. the republicans go on the record shoth american people what they stand for. here's how sensitive this issue is on capitol hill-- randy neugebauer, a republican from texas, was so angry last year, that another anti-abortion rights member had made a small compromise with the white house over abortion rights in the health care bill that he actually shoutedly the words, "baby killer." this is a huge breach of decorum >> those who are shouting out are out of order. >> and it just shows how tempers flare when it comes to abortion. it's really one of those third rails of politics. >> couric: the house will debate house resolution 3 in the weeks
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ahead. if it passes, democrats in the senate are expected to try to table the legislation ipdefinitely. you can find all the stories in our "in focus" series at cbsnews.com. want to transform dinner from blah to oh la la? cook with campbell's. with touches like a splash of fresh cream or sauterne wine. our soups help you put smiles on the faces of the ones you love. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ i love my grandma. i love you grandma. grandma just makes me happy. ♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package. grandpa's cooooooooool. way cool. ♪ grandpa spoils me rotten.
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get the money just for showing up, but instead he retired last week and won't get another dime. mesh told the "new york times" if he couldn't earn his paying, he didn't deserve it. in miami it's mystery solved. for weeks the big question was who put this grand piano on a sand bar in biscayne bay? turns out the mastermind was 16-year-old nicholas harrington. over the holidays he and some friends set fire to the piano. then they towed it out to the sand bar on a boat. harrington figures it will be a cool subject for his college entrance essay. by the way, late today, the piano was hauled away from the sand bar. and coming up next the long-awaited premiere of a movie well, you should also start enjoying activia. for us? it's for people who want to feel good inside. when you feel good, you're more likely to get out there and enjoy life! mmm! mmm! i like this resolution. love how you feel or your money back! [ male announcer ] twenty-four hour stuck-on food
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[ male announcer ] over 7 million people nationwide have talked to their doctor about chantix. chances are, you could be one of them. talk to your doctor. find out if chantix is right for you. >> couric: finally tonight, think back if you will to last summer, to the 24th of july, a saturday. do you remember what you were doing? was it the stuff of which movies are made? well, as richard schlessinger reports, it might have been. >> reporter: if there are laws of hollywood physics, this film surely violates a bunch. it is a movie where everyone's a star-- >> oh, she's doing well. >> reporter: but no one's famous. it was shot in a day, and cost nothing to see.
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july 24, 2010, was the date chosen by the director of the film called "life in a day." >> good morning. >> reporter: the call went out for homemade videos. >> life in a day. >> reporter: from around the world, shot on that day. it's a sort of video diary for the planet earth. two film makers in spain sent this video of a little girl climbing a human ladder. the movie was directed by kevin macdonald, who's an academy award winner. >> what we asked them to do is film what was most important to them in their lives that went on that day. >> reporter: here's how it worked-- in 24 hours, more than 80,000 clips were made in 192 nations. it all added up to 4500 hours of video that had to be cut down to 90 minutes. but it's all ready to premiere tonight at the sundance film festival and on youtube.
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the film makers are being tight lipped about how many videos made it in. ppa some of them looked at least semiprofessional. some less so. >> it's not like any other movie you've seen before. it actually does all the things you expect from a good movie-- it makes you laugh. it makes you cry and hopefully you feel at the end of it more connected to your fellow humanity, to other human beings around the world. >> reporter: if some of the clips look unpolished, that seems to be the point. it is an in-depth portrait of one day and a celebration of the everyday. richard schlessinger, cbs news, new york. >> couric: that looks like fun. and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world. >> the obamas royal wedding snub. >> new rors say the first couple weren't invited to william and kate's i dos. >> this is not a formal state occasion. then, kelsey grammer on live with his fee kran say. and fran drescher ap her gay exhusband on oprah. >> i would think being

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